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Iran Speaker Says Vote Detainees Were Not Raped

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani

Iranian parliament speaker Ali Larijani

TEHRAN (Reuters) -- Iran's speaker of parliament has rejected as "baseless" an opposition leader's accusation that some moderates had been raped in jails after their detention in unrest following the June election.

"Based on parliament's investigations, detainees have not been raped or sexually abused in Iran's Kahrizak and Evin prisons. Such claims are totally baseless," Iran's state television quoted Ali Larijani as saying.

Defeated moderate candidate Mehdi Karrubi said on August 9 that some protesters, both men and women, had been raped in prison.

Many of the postelection detainees were held in south Tehran's Kahrizak prison, built to house people breaching vice laws. At least three people died in custody there and widespread anger erupted as reports of abuse in jail spread.

Last month Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei ordered the closure of the "sub-standard" detention center at Kahrizak. Iranian authorities have acknowledged some protesters were tortured at Kahrizak and said its director had been jailed.

Karrubi said he had written 10 days earlier to Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, who heads a powerful arbitration body, asking for an inquiry, but had received no response.

A committee set up by Karrubi and another defeated candidate Mir Hossein Musavi to pursue the issue submitted a list of 69 people killed in protests to parliament on August 10. The list contradicted the official figure of 26 deaths.

Conservative defeated presidential candidate Mohsen Rezaie said officials in charge should be put on trial if abuse claims of detainees were proved.

"If...reports about the mistreatment and abuses of detainees and protesters are proved, all officials in charge should at least be sacked and tried in court," Rezaie was quoted by the semi-official ILNA news agency as saying. "And a day of national mourning should be declared."